Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep @Jennifer_Estep @KensingtonBooks @NetGalley

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep @Jennifer_Estep @KensingtonBooks @NetGalleySeries: Black Blade #3
on 2016-04-26
Pages: 368
AmazonB&NNarrator: Brittany Pressley
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…
five-stars

Well Done Jennifer Estep! Well Done! This final book in the trilogy did what many YA trilogies failed to deliver: A Thrilling and Satisfying Conclusion.

This third book started with the head of the Family, Claudia Sinclair and her son Devon, the family Bruiser working with the family bodyguard Lila Merriweather, and Lila’s cousin Deah to foil Victor Draconi’s plot to control the town of Cloudburst Falls. If you read books 1 & 2, you know the significance of this alliance and how it came to be. *Hint* Read this series in order to fully comprehend the minutiae.

The action and power struggle began immediately as the line in the sand was drawn between the Sinclair Family and the Draconi Family with the other families trying to pick the winning side. What I loved most in this story was that Lila and Devon’s romance to a back seat to the family business as it rightfully should have. The Sinclair family was united and focused on the preparation for the Draconi family move, whatever it maybe. While love young love as blossoming, the priority was saving lives.

Lila is one of my favorite YA heroines. She is tough, resilient, smart, noble and resourceful. Now that she found a new home with the Sinclair family, she was putting her life on the line to protect them from the Draconi threat. Devon was brave as was all the supporting casts fighting on the side of good. The author did a fantastic job keeping the story adrenaline-charged and interesting. This was a quick paced story with an engaging plot that flowed and was congruous to the theme started in book 1.

The world building was complex enough without being too dense and boring. The supernatural creatures were different from the norm and there wasn’t too many of them to overwhelm the story. The final showdown allowed Lila to address a wrong committed against her family both from the past and in their current situation. Then ending was well thought out and satisfying.

I highly recommend this series to those readers looking for an entertaining YA urban fantasy with a light romance.

*Special Thanks to Kensington via Netgalley for the advance reading copy given in exchange for an honest review

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer EstepSeries: Black Blade #1
on 2015-04-28
Pages: 368
Amazon
There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .
four-stars

Jennifer Estep writes really enjoyable Urban Fantasy books. I am a huge fan of her Elemental Assassin series, so I really wanted to try her new young adult series. I was not disappointed, it was action packed and the universe featured a lot of supernatural creatures that are not common in the current books I am reading. The monsters included were pixies, trolls, a lochness monster that was kind of like an overgrown octopus and non-mortals who posed various talents of magick.

The heroine, 17 year old orphan Lila Merriweather was a young hustler just like Genevieve Blanco in Elemental Assassin. Lila possessed rare combinations of magick that allowed her to be an excellent thief. Her public talent was Sight, where she could look into a person’s eyes and see inside their soul. Her secret talent allowed her to temporary “steal” the magick of another, or like they called it “Transference”.

Lila had a friend/mentor/contact named Mo who helped her get high risk jobs where he paid her a percentage for completion of said task. Lila was fearless and she just wanted to be left alone most of the time. She was still trying to avenge her mother’s murder so she was unconcerned with the town politics. In her town of Cloudburst Falls, legacy magick families were the leaders of the community and there was constant struggle for power and control. It was important to ally with a powerful magick family for protection. Lila did her best to stay out until one day she unintentionally inserted herself in a mob war when she saved a Bruiser (second in command/heir) from an attacked by a rival family.

At this point Lila lost her anonymity and had to choose sides in the war. How will this affect her end game of avenging her mother’s murder?

Lila was a smart mouth girl, very similar to Gin, but she lacked the support system that Gin had. Lila only had Mo, and as much as they got along, Lila wasn’t Mo’s top priority. So Lila was truly alone but she made the best of what she had. An excellent swordsman, I found this heroine to be likeable as well as smart.

The writing made the story easily to follow and interesting as the mystery of the murder of Lila’s mother as well as why the Bruiser was being hunted was revealed. This series is definitely one I will follow as book 1 laid a solid foundation for the Black Blade series. I highly recommend this series to YA lovers who want an urban fantasy unlike those out right now.

*Special Thanks to Kensington Books Via Netgalley for the reading copy.

The Exile (The Fae #1) by C.T. Adams

The Exile (The Fae #1)  by C.T. AdamsSeries: The Fae #1
on 2015-03-10
Pages: 320
AmazonB&NNarrator: Marguerite Gavin
Brianna Hai runs an occult shop that sells useless trinkets to tourists--and real magic supplies to witches and warlocks. The magical painting that hangs in Brianna's apartment is the last portal between the fae and human worlds.A shocking magical assault on her home reveals to Brianna that her father, High King Liu of the Fae, is under attack. With the help of her gargoyle, Pug, her friend David, and Angelo, a police detective who doesn't believe in magic, Brianna recovers what was stolen from her and becomes an unwilling potential heir to the throne.A suspenseful urban fantasy with a hint of romance, The Exile is the first solo novel by C. T. Adams, who is half of USA Today bestselling author Cat Adams. Like the Cat Adams Blood Singer novels, The Exile is set in a world where magic is real and contains Adams's trademark blend of suspense, action, humor, and strongly emotional writing.
four-stars

I was pleasantly surprised because I normally don’t care for Fae stories. This was interesting and a good start to a series.

Brianna Hai is the half human half fae princess of King Liu but she lived in the human realm as her fae siblings were constantly trying to eliminate her as a possible heir to their father’s throne. Brianna’s mother escaped to the human realm and they opened up a store selling antiques and other various trinkets. All of sudden Brianna starts getting attacked by pixies and then a powerful fae comes and tries to glamour her. Brianna’s time on the sidelines of fae politics came to a screeching halt. Brianna proceeded to show her half siblings and the fae world that she wasn’t wallflower they thought she was.

Brianna enlisted the aid of her best friend David and her trusted gargoyle Pug go to Faery to figure out what’s going on with her father’s court and how she could helf King Liu with the civil war. Meanwhile David’s brother, Nick, has been approached by the FBI to investigate Brianna and find out what’s going on in her story as the law enforcement officials think the store is a front for an illegal enterprise.

This is a new author for me and I enjoyed Marguerite Gavin’s narration. She is one of my favorites so the audiobook was a treat. Her tone and delivery gave just the right touch of femininity and strength. I will admit there was a lot of alternating POVs. It was a bit excessive, but I was able to follow the story despite that. It was a good foundation book, because it wasn’t an information dump as many authors often do with book 1 of a new series. There was enough information given to satisfy my curiosity and enough left over so that I am interested in continuing on to book 2. If you enjoy political intrigue, betrayals and a tiny hint of romance, then you will enjoy this one.

*Special Thank You to Tantor Media for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.